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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

You Hear It Every Year (And I Bet You Don't Do Anything About It)

Christmas time is a wonderful time of year. Kids get out of school, families get together, good food and fellowship is shared, Christmas music, Christmas trees....it's my favorite time of the year. It always feels to me like the deep breath after a long year. A time to reflect on what's important in life: family and giving to others. We all have something we all enjoy about the Christmas holiday season. One thing we universally hear as Christians are the many calls to remember "the real reason for the season". Well meaning pastors, deacons, and fellow church goers constantly remind us that the true meaning of Christmas isn't found in giving gifts or even in the values of family and fellowship. It's found in the incarnation of the Living God. Of His coming to the Earth and ultimately of His sacrifice.

We hear this every year. It has gotten to the point that, to many of us, it seems like a tired slogan. We simply go through the motions to hear it and repeat it simply because it's part of what we do this time of year. How many of us truly grasp the truth behind it anymore? How many of our prayer and worship lives are effected anymore by the coming of Christmas? How many of us even read the Christmas story at our family gatherings anymore?

I'm not setting out to make anyone feel guilty or point fingers. I am the biggest offender. I'm writing this as much to remind myself and point at myself as to encourage others to rethink their values. I hear it every year and I tell it to people every year, but I'm simply going through the motions this year. Christmas has had no tangible effect on my spiritual life this year. If anything I'm more self centered this year than most. I really have forgotten the reason for the season. It doesn't even feel like Christmas to me. It's just another holiday and break from school. That has to change.

So today I'm setting aside time to remind myself. To read the Gospel accounts of the Coming of Christ. To read the Old Testament prophesies of His birth. To sing the hymns and to refresh myself on the symbolism. Because Jesus came to the Earth for me. I'm going to tell someone else about it, because Jesus came for them too. That's the most wonderful thing about Christmas. That's the real reason for the season, and I'm going to do something about it this year. Will you?

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